GWADAR: China has handed over two ships to Pakistan Navy for joint security along the sea route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The Chinese officials, who reached Gwadar aboard the ships, handed the ships over to their Pakistani counterparts at a ceremony at Gwadar Port.
Commander of Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini received the ships, which have been named after two nearby rivers Hingol and Basole.
Speaking at the handing-over ceremony, Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussain said the Chinese ships have become part of the Pakistan Navy, and they will be deployed for the security of the Gwadar port and the sea route of CPEC.
The Chinese government will provide two more ships namely Dasht and Zhob to Pakistan Navy. Work on the ships is in progress in China and will be completed soon.
CPEC – a background
In April 2015, China and Pakistan launched a plan for energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan worth $46 billion, linking their economies and underscoring China’s economic ambitions in Asia and beyond.
China’s President Xi Jinping arrived in Pakistan on April 15, 2015 to oversee the signing of agreements aimed at establishing a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor between Pakistan’s southern Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea and China’s Xinjiang region.
The plan, which would eclipse U.S. spending in Pakistan over the last decade or so, is part of China’s aim to forge “Silk Road” land and sea ties to markets in the Middle East and Europe.
The corridor, a network of roads, railways and pipelines, will pass through Balochistan.
The two sides also agreed to strengthen cooperation in civil nuclear energy, space and maritime technology, counter-terrorism and defense.
Pakistan is of the view that China will provide up to $37 billion in investment for energy projects to generate 16,400 MW of power. Concessional loans will cover nearly $10 billion of infrastructure projects.
Xi said it cemented an “all-weather strategic cooperative partnership” between the neighbors.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the corridor would transform Pakistan into a regional hub and give China a shorter and cheaper route for trade with much of Asia, the Middle East and Africa.